Don’t Stop Believin’

Don’t stop believin’

I did, once
I stopped, I let myself sink
not into a lull, not a momentary lapse
but a period of complete
nothingness
I settled into a life of
long work hours and few excitements
and empty-headed melancholy

I lived in mediocrity for years,
exploring nothing outside of
work, sleep, repeat

until

I was inspired,
rejuvenated, energized once again
I remembered who I once dreamed of being
and
finally
made a plan
to make that ethereal person into a reality

It’s slow, and the fear in the pit of my stomach
is ever-present
some days I don’t think I’ll ever
reach that far off destiny

I shove my way past limitations
because that is the only way I will ever
make a place for myself
doing something I love.

All I have to do
is change my reality
Change myself.

I have already begun,
and I’m nowhere close to finished.

Playground Days

Everything was simpler
when worries consisted of who to
play four square with on the playground

Life was easier, when nights were
spent watching Yugioh in bed, while
munching on fruit snacks

The most complex part of fourth grade
was creating a new dance with
a fleeting “best friend”

Now, I still play games, only electronically
I still watch anime, less frequently
and I only dance with my headphones on
in an otherwise empty room

But life is full.
It’s packed to the brim with responsibilities
and appointments, rarely a moment to spare

but it is also full of
purpose
emotion
potential
and I reach higher every day

Erase

What is coming along?
I catch myself thinking that the man
can stop my wonder
I was wrong, but
not confident in my sort

Most of the want
just belongs to money.

I know money.
Once in, you can
swirl the crowd of people,
eyes rapidly searching
for the perfect

I think talent
don’t get far
until you are allowed
luxury

Book: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Charades

A young girl, age seven
maybe eight
ran jovially through rain
splashing in every puddle as she moved

Her mom, trailing behind
smiles for her child, but her eyes betray her.
She is listless.

The world has a way of robbing us
of even the smallest moments.
Stress builds, we find ourselves trapped
underneath the mound, no longer
strong enough to free ourselves,
we succumb, not to the weight of the world,
but the weight of our own worlds
with all of their problems and “little” urgencies.

We are struggling to free ourselves internally,
but our external forms must continue to move
and we go through the motions,
always pretending nothing is wrong
because it is shameful to let someone see us
as weak.

We bury ourselves within and
put on a social mask for our friends,
families, people we love but can’t let in.

And we slowly sink deeper and deeper
drowning in our own charade.

Warmth

Sleeping next to you
not only feels like home, it feels like
taking my bra off at the end of a long day.

Like starting to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer
for the fourth time.

Like walking back into high school,
almost like I never left.

You feel like stopping back at Grandpa’s house
for a hug from him, and an unwilling one
from his cat, Fritz.

You are my pillow, when I just can’t keep my eyes open,
a step stool, when I can’t reach the top shelf,
a driver, when I don’t want to or can’t

You have been my home for so long that
even memories from before we met
are synonymous with the comfort you bring me

Dear Future Michael,

Dear Future Michael,

Starla is trying

Please don’t begrudge her the long hours,
or the overflowing emotions. Those
are why you fell for her in the first place.
A “colorful” girl with a crazy perspective,
no truer partner could she have found,
than you.

She knows you’re tired. She’s tired too.
The pair of you built a life together
pulled straight from the ashes of
your social lives and your time to sleep.
Keep working together. There’s nothing
you do better.

She loves you. As much as the day you met.
Much more, in fact, because
that love grows each day. Every time you
hold her, kiss her, cheer her up
after a bad day,
she remembers what it felt like
to be seventeen and head over heels for
you and only you.

You are an amazing man. You have made her
a happy woman, something she thought
she would never be.
You are loved.
You are SO appreciated.
You are the man of her dreams.

Thank you Mike.

Dear Future Starla,

Dear Future Starla,
don’t forget.

Don’t forget the priceless advice
given to you by venerated mentors,
or the joy that brought you to tears when
you earned their approval.

Don’t forget endless laughter
brought on by countless movie nights
stretched into the wee hours of the morning
with the friends who know you best.

Don’t forget the fear you felt
the day you decided to plant both feet
and start running toward your dreams
at full speed, finally allowing yourself
to take that chance.

Don’t forget the adrenaline rush
the first time you rode your bike over
expressway bridge, and realized that hill
could not stop you, much less any other obstacle.

Don’t forget the emotions that have
allowed you to be fragile, exactly
when you most needed that vulnerability.
That emotional person is the truest
form of you. And you are at your best
when she takes the reins.

When you are emotional, something amazing
will surely be the result.

Opalescent Joy

A Paradelle:

A green realm, surrounded by birch
A green realm, surrounded by birch
Within the branches, fairies play
Within the branches, fairies play
Branches play within a birch realm,
The fairies – surrounded by green

Blossoms litter the forest floor
Blossoms litter the forest floor
Loose petals dance through the air like rain
Loose petals dance through the air like rain
Forest blossoms litter loose like air
The petals rain, dance through the floor

Girls with opalescent wings glide free
Girls with opalescent wings glide free
Their joy knows no bounds
Their joy knows no bounds
Opalescent joy bounds free with their
girls’ wings – knows no glide

No blossoms free the fairies’ floor
The realm surrounded by birch branches
Opalescent rain knows a green glide
Their joy bounds through air, litter
Loose petals with wings dance, play
Like girls within the forest

Zing

Why did it come so easily to mind,
the decision to change my life?
Just a spark, a passing notion one
lazy summer day. That zing set me on a
new adventure.

In theory it’s exciting, not scary at all.
A new purpose, bringing with it
determination and a throng of new friends.

One week before classes begin.
I’m going to be a college student,
finally, only five years late.
The impending change is suddenly daunting.
How will life continue? When will it all
become too much? Can I do this?

Assignments daily, deadlines constant,
I’ve used my education to propel
me into a dreamer once again.
I look forward to graduating, to becoming
a writer, a teacher, a professional,
but more than that I find joy
in using my mind again.

I memorize, I read, I criticize and heed
the criticism offered to me. I dive
headfirst into a world of literature and science
that my thoughts have long since abandoned.
I “feel smart” for the first time since
graduating high school.

I’m using my mind in a whole new way
and reaching for my brand new dreams
all at the same time.

It feels amazing to have my life so in focus,
yet so precarious.

This is living.

B.H.

Before
Humans
there was peace

There was predation, yes,
and pain, but the world lacked the
torture, murder, and blatant selfishness
that only the human animal
brings to the proverbial table.

Before people, there was nature.
Back when ever-expanding cities
(who now bulldoze all
that stands in their way)
weren’t even a thought. Weren’t presumed
the necessity (to whom?) that they now are.
The natural world was unscathed by our
greed, our endless capacity for destruction.

Before men and women, there were animals,
now long since deceased. Our thoughtless
actions the direct cause of their species
dying.
We don’t notice, refuse to open our
eyes, as long as their absence
doesn’t affect our standard of living.

The world was far better off
before
humans.

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